LTTE attack thwarted, five cadres killed: Sri Lankan military

March 23rd, 2009 - 1:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, March 23 (IANS) The Sri Lankan Navy has killed five LTTE cadres, who were dressed as civilians fleeing the war zone and were planning to attack security forces, the defence ministry said Monday.
It said the incident took place Sunday morning off Chundikulam in the north when an inshore naval patrol craft spotted four dinghies carrying civilians fleeing from the Tamil Tigers-held areas. The naval vessel approached to help them.

“When the naval personnel had approached them as usual for their (civilian) rescue, they found one dinghy with only five men on board suspicious. As they were about act on their suspicion, the persons on board the suspicious boat started firing at the navy,” the defence ministry report said.

The navy personnel in retaliatory fire killed all five Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide cadres on board the dinghy. The dead bodies of the rebels along with fire-arms were found in a subsequent search.

“(The) Navy believes that the LTTE’s intention here was to mix with troops on land on the sly and inflict a huge devastation on them,” the defence ministry said, adding 54 innocent civilians who were on board the other three dinghies were rescued by navy and safely brought ashore at Point Pedro and Vettilaikerni in the north.

The military here said that the LTTE has now been boxed into a mere 28 square km land area in the Mullaitivu district, facing a multi-pronged military onslaught.

It said that the number of civilians fleeing the rebel-held areas defying LTTE orders was on the rise and over 47,000 internally displaced people have entered the government-held areas since the beginning of 2009.

These displaced people are being temporarily housed in welfare centres and villages in the northern Vavuniya district.

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